The Performer

If there’s one thing I know
about people
it’s that
many of them
will go to the most
melodramatic lengths
to fabricate

Nobody is without insecurity,
and there is a bit of a performer in all of us.
But there are many
that have a
permanent spotlight
hovering over them
like a halo.

These people can talk the talk.
and they will
all of the talk.

Their script is never-ending.

They will talk
and talk
and talk
because if they do all of the
there is little time for

As any talented actor might,
they practice
wherever there is an audience.
Except it doesn’t have to be a sea of people.

Performers will put on an act
for any individual
and all.

Practice makes perfect.

But to those who are enthralled
by the magic,
it is never so obviously staged.

Performers are meticulous enough
to make sure
the audience believes.
They admit to
their character flaws
They place their
on display

These theatrics compel us
like nothing else has,
but there’s more than meets the eye.

Once you dare
to pull the curtain back
and remove their mask
as an attempt to dive deeper into
their true character,

that’s when you’ll begin to see that
the depth you fell for
is contrived.

You found the script.
They are reciting lines.

They could never
walk the walk,
so they distracted you with their
over-rehearsed choreography.

This discovery is a deep disappointment,
so you may deny it,
but once you suspect,
you can’t unsee.

Everything they say
begins to look like a
part of the performance.

But somehow
knowing this secret about them just
adds to the entertainment.
It may become impossible for you to look away

because you know that
the reason for this song-and-dance
must stem from
which is an imperfection in itself.

So they become a sympathetic character,
which is their very best role;
the victim.

You pity them because
you understand why
they are the way
they are.

You find yourself questioning
whether they are
the villain
or the hero.

You may applaud them one day
and boo them the next,
but you’re still buying a ticket to
like a devoted fan.

Witnessing them bask in their
angelic spotlight
as they seduce the crowd
is oftentimes maddening,
but you’re conflicted
as it’s
absolutely riveting.

Because the truth is
the charm of their character
has bled into your vision of the actor
and although you know their delicious secret,
maybe it is the ruse
that captivates you
like nothing else has.

The irony is that their performances become
predictable after so many alike,
and your heart can’t take it anymore
so you eventually stop showing up.

You join the band of critics
who’ve also tired of the antics.
But the performer isn’t a performer without

The performer is a true believer that
no publicity is bad publicity.
They are a master of twist
and suddenly
the criticism
colors them
the victim

So they don’t mind that you’ve crossed over.

They appear to be heartbroken,
because the mezzanine is full of fresh eyes,
who will be
easily satisfied by
shallow fanfare.

As long as this continues to be true,
the performer will have no motivation to change.
As long as there is an endless supply
of momentary gains from each production,
the attention,
the ego boost,
the pleasures they feel they deserve for their
artistic contributions,

the show must go on.

The booming applause
serves as proof to the performer
that this
upkeep of a façade
is imperative to society.

It encourages
a lack of original

You eventually realize
the performance is more for themselves
than it is for the viewers.

The amount of time they devote
to creating their persona
is because they so desperately
need to believe
that they’re above the audience
above the world!

It kills you
because they’re painfully close
to true reflection.
They’re putting effort
into manufacturing
a false idol when
they could be putting that effort
into themselves.

As you mourn
the existence of a person
who never existed,
you wish the performer
a happy ending.

You force yourself
to consider the possibility
that one day
they could
remove their costume
and be rid of the need to
shape themselves
for public validation.
You imagine
their euphoric epiphany.

It’s a nice daydream
but the scene is unlikely.
Whether it does
or does not
play out,
find comfort in the fact that
you won’t be there to witness it.

Hello! My name is Alexandria.I’m a freelance writer and advocate for victims of sexual violence. I frequently post on Medium as well as my WordPress blog (

Eternal Metamorphosis is filled with raw and confessional journal entries about my recovery from trauma. My purpose is to help victims to feel empowered in the way that is unique to their journeys. I’m optimistic that my stories, and the stories of all survivors shared on my page, will broaden minds and encourage compassion, understanding and ACTION. 

Click the link below to check out my site and get involved ! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alexandriaroswick

If you would like to have your work published in The Poetry Bar send your poem, a few words about yourself and the link to your blog and Instagram account to the e-mail

2 thoughts on “The Performer

  1. Love, love, loved this! You might as well have been writing about me and my perspective on the (former) performer in my life.

    “ As you mourn
    the existence of a person
    who never existed,
    you wish the performer
    a happy ending.”

  2. Wow. You certainly talked and performed with this piece.

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